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Old 06-13-2012, 06:23 AM
 
7 posts, read 14,318 times
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I might be moving to the Jacksonville area in summer 2013. I have never heard anything good about the area, but I am open-minded. Does anyone have any recommendations regarding what neighborhoods to check out? I have a young daughter and another on the way so schools and safety are important. I am also thinking of buying, but unsure whether I would buy or rent. I would be working at Camp Lejeune and would like to limit my commute, but I would be willing to drive farther if there is a better quality of life a little farther out.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,255 posts, read 19,786,471 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCSummerMover View Post
I might be moving to the Jacksonville area in summer 2013. I have never heard anything good about the area, but I am open-minded.
You probably should check out the towns of Sneads Ferry, Swansboro, Hubert or Richlands. We live in a lovely gated community in Sneads Ferry with many Marine officers, and some senior enlisted. Lots of kids, and there's a pool and a boat launch. Houses here are selling well, priced in the $280K and up range. There are also communities around us where houses sell for as low as the $150K- $170K range. I could provide more suggestions if you share your budget. Swansboro and Hubert have similar affordable areas.

The schools are average to slightly above. Even in Jacksonville, you will find pleasant neighborhoods with decent schools. Jacksonville isn't much to look at, but it has all the basics for shopping and entertainment.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:26 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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If I had to stay in the area (I've been here over 4 years- finally moving at the end of the year!) my pick would probably be Swansboro.

Swansboro has a really cute village vibe, especially surrounding the old historic district. Additionally, it gets the sea breezes that the places inland (Jacksonville, Richlands, etc) do not.

Jacksonville is quite a pitiful excuse for a city- it's mainly just here to suit the needs of the Marines (strip clubs, tattoo parlors, bars, fast food). I personally wouldn't want to raise a child here, due in part to the uninspiring (seedy) surroundings, and due in part due to the lack of cultural amenities (museums, art galleries, theater, etc). Jacksonville is geared toward very, very, basic needs and not much more. Swansboro doesn't have a lot, but is less geared toward the military population, giving the area a much nicer 'feel'.

As for buying vs renting: I would suggest renting to begin with, only because the Jacksonville property market never really 'bottomed out' like it did in other areas of the country, due to the economy from the Marine Corps Base. House prices have steadily risen in spite of the economic collapse, but have just started to drop within the past few months due to the Marine Corps restructuring and downsizing. I'm anticipating that house prices out here will continue to drop for at least another year or two, while the Marine Corps adjusts to the changes. Subsequently I would probably wait to buy, and just keep an eye on the property market.

If you haven't been out here already, I would suggest visiting and exploring the area. It's great that you've got a job lined up first- but as goldenage suggested, you should probably check out the outlying towns. Commute time from Swansboro and Sneads Ferry are significantly lessened as with a Base Sticker you will be able to take the 172 Gate to get onto Camp Lejeune, so whatever Mapquest says will be considerably off, distance wise

Best of luck to you!
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,255 posts, read 19,786,471 times
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Originally Posted by glamatomic View Post
If I had to stay in the area (I've been here over 4 years- finally moving at the end of the year!) my pick would probably be Swansboro.

Swansboro has a really cute village vibe, especially surrounding the old historic district. Additionally, it gets the sea breezes that the places inland (Jacksonville, Richlands, etc) do not.
Agreed. I would pick Swansboro, if we hadn't already bought in Mimosa Bay. You could check out which area is most convenient to where you will be working, as there are base entrances on the east, west and north sides, roughly.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
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Another big plus to living in Swansboro/Hubert area is that there is virtually no traffic in getting to the main gate. There are a couple of miles of traffic coming from the opposite direction.
I live in Morehead and produce a radio show out of J'ville weekday mornings. I have an up close and personal experience with HWY 24 between 5:30A-6:30A
The Jacksonville paper is a very good paper. I'd encourage you to check it out frequently: News Source for Jacksonville, North Carolina - jdnews.com
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Swansboro, NC
107 posts, read 215,125 times
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Buying a home can be a very smart move, there are plenty of nice homes to choose from. My advice is to look for homes in an established subdivision or in the country, some of the newer S/D have yet to be hit by short sales or foreclosures because they are so new, and alot of builders are not coming off prices, they will give you tons of incentives, but they want their price.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:22 AM
 
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Limiting commute aside, I know of a number of folks that commute in from Cedar Point (just across from Swansboro) which gets Carteret County schools, or Holly Ridge/Surf City/Hampstead in Pender County. Depending on where you work on the base, each can be a viable option that gets you closer to the beach as well.

If you need to be closer to a bigger city, you may tend to go south from Jacksonville so you are closer to Wilmington. Unfortunately, heading toward Swansboro/Cedar Point puts you further from anything major and you will rely on Jacksonville, Morehead City or New Bern for everything...about a 3 hour drive to Raleigh and almost 2 to Wilmington.
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